SCHOOL OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC
CAPSTONE PRESENTATIONS FALL 2019 | Thursday, December 5, 2019
Panel 1 | Online and On-Campus Students Room: CPACS 109 Alumni Panelists: Ben Kalinkowitz, Heike Langdon, Ben Rasmussen Tune in online with Zoom using this link: https://unomaha.zoom.us/j/409707660 1:00 PM: Sarah Wiebusch (online) Investigating the Regulatory Environment of Assisted Living Facilities: A Case Study of Five Facilities in Nebraska
Assisted living facilities have been a growing trend over the past three decades. They are seen as an option for long-term living for older adults. The federal government does not regulate these facilities, only individual states. The Nebraska regulations for assisted living facilities are flexible in terms of interpretation and therefore, create a diversity in the level of care provided by assisted living facilities in Nebraska. Through interviews with five administrators of assisted living facilities in Nebraska, this study explores the regulations of assisted living facilities and identifies differences in assisted living facilities. The findings show that there is great diversity between dementia-certified facilities and those not dementiacertified. Facilities with administrators from healthcare backgrounds were more willing to continue with higher level of care compared to those facilities with a housing background. Further research is needed to identify whether the lenient regulations are beneficial to facilities and older adults or a detriment.
1:20 PM: Kai Sears (online) Mental Health in the Community: An Analysis of one Nonprofitâ€™s S-OQ Change Scores
Mental health community support (CS) is a core component of the recovery-oriented service model for individuals who have a serious mental illness (SMI). This project investigated SMI outcomes through data analysis using Severe Outcomes Questionnaires (S-OQ) completed by individuals in CS services. Quantitative data analysis was conducted to examine S-OQ Reliable Change Index (RCI) scores over time, across service areas, and by diagnosis type. There was an overall total of 76% of participants who either maintained their self-reported level of wellness or reported their wellness and symptom management had reliably improved over time. The outcomes indicated those with schizophrenia have slightly distinctive results than the depression and bipolar diagnosis categories. Findings on length of stay indicated that overall, nearly half of participants indicated reliable improvement, regardless of the time in CS services. Possible future research specific to length of stay analyzed by SMI diagnosis would be beneficial further investigate possible SMI trends. For a more direct analysis of outcomes in association with CS services, future research could incorporate the use of the SO-Q measures in conjunction client satisfaction surveys specific to CS service provision.
1:40 PM: Charles J. Heaton Value of Parks and Recreation: City of Blair Perspective
The city of Blair Nebraska is typical of many small towns in America, a mix of industry, agriculture, and business, all balancing out to provide a quality of life that many Americans have become accustomed to. These towns also have a place to relax â€“ parks and recreation areas that allow for something bigger in a community. Yet how do we place value on these areas that are so dear to our way of life? This paper will look at ways that value can be determined for our park and recreation areas that do not always equate a financial aspect. Communities can have higher property values, lower crime, and more social cohesiveness with parks as part of their community. These attributes can be utilized in any city anywhere in the country and produce similar results. While Americans appreciate a hard dayâ€™s work, they also appreciate a nice place to relax and enjoy time with friends, family, and the community.
2:00 PM: Timothy Terrell The Nebraska Medical SHARING Clinic Evaluation
The Nebraska Medicine SHARING Clinic has efficiency problems. This student-run free clinic is one of the few medical service providers that services uninsured non-Hispanic white, minority and undocumented populations. If efficiency problems continue to go unaddressed, then the uninsured, minority and the undocumented population’s suffering will increase, due to a lack of basic medical services. Without proper care, many minor medical issues will evolve into major issues. These untreated conditions will worsen and unnecessarily end the lives these populations. These crises will negatively affect medical services by increasing the number of patients seeking emergency care, which could create compacity in medical facilities and increase the stress of emergency room providers. This evaluation identifies efficiency problems by utilizing a qualitative approach. Data were collected from three sources—meeting attendance, onsite observations, and interviews. The evaluation’s conclusion identified that the SHARING Clinic’s problems were program awareness, operation hours, administrative planning, language barriers, no show rates, long wait times and lacks space for patient rooms. Out of theses, language barriers, 50 percent no show rates and long wait times in clinic were identified as the main problems.
2:20 PM: Sami Morford Child and Adolescent Behavior Assessment (CABA) implementation through therapeutic treatment planning: A process evaluation for Boys Town Psychiatric Treatment Facility (PRTF) The Boys Town Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) is a Joint Commission accredited organization. To continue meeting Joint Commission standards, the PRTF started implementing the Child and Adolescent Behavior Assessment (CABA). The data from the CABA can be used by therapists as part of their treatment planning to help identify what the youth views as a big problem for them. Boys Town is currently collecting data from the CABA but has not thoroughly assessed the process of implementation. A qualitative and quantitative survey was conducted provide a feedback loop for the CQI process. The survey examined the CABA implementation process from the perspective of the therapists who provide direct services to the youth as well as conduct the CABA with youth. The findings of the survey show that a majority of the therapists found the CABA to be helpful for treatment planning, but nearly half of the sample viewed the assessment negatively. Therapists were able to identify ways the CABA was helpful, unhelpful, and ways they would change the process to improve it. Further research needs to be completed to identify the motivators behind respondents’ answers. Administrators can then adjust to improve the CABA process.
Panel 2 | Online and On-Campus Students Room: CPACS 208 Alumni Panelists: Dan Fried,Valerie Nordstrom (online),Megan Weber Tune in online with Zoom using this link: https://unomaha.zoom.us/j/846100707 1:00 PM: Gabriela Duarte (online) Guiding Student Services to fill a New Gap
Presently tracked trends have shown the demand for graduate degrees in the United States have tripled and there are many factors that have attributed to this growth over the years. The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) has tracked degree trend in the United States showing that Master’s degree conferred has tripled from 235,564 to 785,595 and Doctoral degrees conferred have doubled from 64,998 to 181,352 (2018, August 1). With such a major change in the composition of student populations at higher education institutions a gap has occurred in how an institution assists their students to succeed in their studies. This research and analysis focuses on identifying the significance of institutions to continue their mission of caring for the whole student by adapting their student services to the growing graduate student population and provides an analysis of how it can be proper and efficiently done.
1:20 PM:Jason Barnstead-Long (online) Are We Walking the Talk in Government Workforce Strategic Planning?
The goal of this research and case study project was to provide evidence, insight, and example into how public administrations are working, and can work, to incorporate equity and inclusion into their workforce strategic planning, with the research question being - How are counties in the United States incorporating equity and inclusion in their workforce strategic planning today and how are the departments at these government organizations doing with incorporating policies from the plans? Sources of information consisted of scholarly literature and professional documents covering equity and inclusion in public policy and results from it, with a focus on strategic planning, equity, and inclusion related to local governments and with the case study over Multnomah Countyâ€™s efforts in Oregon state. Findings from the research show that there are U.S. counties, like Multnomah County, that are walking the talk in government workforce strategic planning.
1:40 PM: Bryant W. Devine (online) Shortening the Wait: A Social Security Field Office Case Study in Queuing Theory
The overall purpose of this case study was to evaluate best practices in queuing theory and learning to manage queues effectively. This case study is of quasi-experimental design, and based on two queuing methods, both preemption and segmentation. The test groups are two queuing models that serve test the theory. How can field offices use current personnel to strategically manage their queues? Furthermore, this case study examines interviewers versus visitors in relation to average wait times. Independently, would preemptive queuing and segregating easy/quick tasks accelerate interviews and reduce wait times? The objective was to evaluate Field Office X, and its implementation of better processes to reduce wait times. Field Office X would complete this by deploying staff effectively, evaluating those deployments through the use of data to highlight the effectiveness of those outcomes. Can Field Office X implement better processes that will reduce wait times?
2:00 PM: Jamie Gail Pennington (online) Affordable Housing in a Growing City: Can the City of Raleigh provide for its residents?
Across the nation, affordable housing is at an all time low. Poverty and homelessness are complex and multifaceted issues which plague many individuals and families in the United States. However, there are many federal programs to assist individuals and families in such circumstances. HUD is the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development which provides numerous services to United States citizens, more importantly it provides a handful of programs to support youth, individuals, and families experiencing homelessness and related issues to housing.Within HUD, programs include Section 8 and ESG (Emergency Solutions). These are two impactful programs which provide monetary assistance for families experiencing homelessness, neither are resolutions to the greater problem of homelessness or housing instability, but provide short to mid-term assistance if one qualifies. Section 8 housing vouchers are a lengthy wait for those with qualifying income or lack of, while ESG provides assistance to those experiencing literal homelessness. Despite the availability of these federal programs, many communities are continuing to face an increasing lack of affordable housing for individuals and families.
2:20 PM: Jacob Campbell A Review of Nebraska’s Tax Structure:The Three Legged Stool
Nebraska’s current tax structure is the primary topic of discussion among current and aspiring elected officials in the state. Though some major changes have been made in the property and income tax structure over the years, the state’s sales tax structure has not seen meaningful change since it was written in 1967. Currently, in the Nebraska State Legislature, proposals and ideas are being floated about major tax reform efforts, including all three aspects of Nebraska’s “Threelegged-stool”; property, sales, and income taxes. Though the state does not levy property taxes, this leg of the stool receives much of the discussion. This project seeks to find some answers to the question: How may currently proposed tax reform efforts affect Nebraska’s tax climate – and further - how may sales tax reform efforts impact Nebraska’s “Threelegged stool? Research from the Legislative Research Office, State Senator’s offices, policy think-tanks, and the Nebraska Department of Revenue all inform this project. Meant to be a broad overview for readers to familiarize themselves with the current state of “the stool” and encourage them to think deeper about the impact of Nebraska’s tax structure, future research could provide in-depth policy recommendations with impact projections resulting from those proposed changes.
Panel 3 | On- Campus Students Room: Barbara Weiss Community Engagement Center 231 Alumni Panelist: Anton Jelinek, Jessica Jones,Esther Scarpello, John Vasquez 1:00 PM: Brianne Kemp-Schluler When Missions Collide: A Case Study of Merger in Grief Support Agencies
Nonprofit organizations face increasing competition in a growing sector; nonprofits vie for finite resources including corporate, foundation, and individual donors’ funds, the human capital provided by volunteers and supporters, and awareness in communities saturated with nonprofit organizations and causes. In the face of increasing competition, nonprofit organizations must explore options to create efficiencies and maximize resources. This case study examines two Omaha, Nebraska area nonprofit organizations seeking formal merger as a way to maximize human and financial resources, increase mission awareness, and create long-term organizational sustainability. Qualitative data was collected via survey from board members of both organizations to help answer the research question “What are the motivations of each nonprofit and their leadership in seeking to employ merger as a tool for their nonprofit organizations?” Responses are compared to existing literature on nonprofit merger, and implications for the greater nonprofit sector explored. Findings support themes in the literature and also unique characteristics of this specific instance of merger.
1:20 PM: Kelley Parde Stakeholder Analysis of Nebraska Foundation for Cancer Research
A stakeholder analysis is a key part of the strategic planning process and can be performed as a way for an organization to understand the networks and politics that surround them. The information gathered from a stakeholder analysis can give useful data on identifying strategic issues and help to develop effective strategies. The Nebraska Foundation for Cancer Research (NEBFCR) is a small nonprofit in Omaha, Nebraska. This organization has never done a stakeholder analysis. This project analyzes a stakeholder analysis to show how this organization can grow as a nonprofit and reach more stakeholders. This project includes a literature review discussion on the importance of stakeholders and a stakeholder analysis. Qualitative research was done which includes several interviews with individuals involved with NEBFCR, a comparison of a similar nonprofit, and completing a power versus interestgrid. Findings indicate that there are areas that this organization needs to improve upon in order to reach more stakeholders.
1:40 PM: Jordan Jacobs Assessing Offutt AFB Strategic Readiness Pre/Post Flood 2019
This paper analyzes how Offutt Air Force Base prepared, responded, and recovered to a catastrophic flood devastated over a third of the installation in March 2019. Offutt endured over $420 million in infrastructure damage and has been praised and scrutinized for their efforts. Understanding and assessing their policies and procedures will shed light their strategic readiness and response efforts. To answer this question numerous members of Offutt were interviewed asking a series of questions to understand the flood from start to finish. Airmen and civilians from all ranks were interviewed to gain full perspective of the situation from various career fields. The results show Offutt made valiant efforts to prevent the flood, saving millions by launching the fleet, but ultimately fell short in preserving critical infrastructure due to lack of time. Ensuring a proactive approach and overcommunication amongst personnel will drive strategic readiness for Offutt AFB. From a Department of Defense strategic perspective, this study emphasizes that personnel should consider potential environmental changes to prevent future flood disasters at Offutt.
2:00 PM: Gillian Cromwell Models of Municipal Recycling: Keys to Success
The global resource recovery sector is a vast interconnected network of stakeholders whose ultimate goal is to capture waste and reprocess it into a valuable product. This international recycling network experienced a great deal of tumult following Chinaâ€™s National Sword Policy in 2018 which throttled the flow of recovered materials to one of the worldâ€™s largest importers, effectively creating a worldwide overabundance of recyclables, driving commodity prices down. This has impacted municipal recycling programs across the United States. This study examines, through interviews, three Midwestern materials recovery facilities representing the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to assess whether the municipal recycling programs relying on them are vulnerable to termination. All three facilities experienced marked contraction in annual earnings between 2017, the year before the China Ban, and 2018, the year immediately following. The facility managers interviewed identified volunteerism (nonprofit), fees for service (private), and public mandate (public) as factors critical to their success while the underlying values of community engagement, economic stimulation, and public participation, respectively, motivated their endurance. The China Ban brought severe economic hardship to all three facilities, however only the private facility was concerned about the sustainability of the operation in the immediate future.
2:20 PM: Travis Shepler Nebraska Conservation Officer Job Attributes: A work and worker-oriented approach to job analysis
This study utilized a job analysis to identify the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAO) that are necessary to perform the conservation officer job in Nebraska.The mixed-method job analysis method “C-JAM” was utilized to identify the work and worker-oriented attributes of the conservation officer job in Nebraska. A survey of subject matter experts was conducted to identify a list of essential tasks for conservation enforcement in Nebraska. In addition, an essential task list developed from a job task analysis conducted by the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center was utilized for the tasks of a basic patrol officer in the state of Nebraska. A second group of subject matter experts utilized the essential tasks of conservation enforcement and basic patrol officer to identify the KSAOs that are necessary for a Nebraska conservation officer. The comprehensive list of KSAOs will provide a foundation for a variety of human resources functions for conservation officers in Nebraska. Most notably, they can be
Panel 4 | On-Campus Students Room: Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center 221 Alumni Panelist: Matthew Harrison, Susan Herbst-Murphy, Amy Lillethorup 1:00 PM: Kyle McGlade Why Care About Local Government Elections: The Impacts on Public Employee Negotiations in the State of Iowa Across the United States, laws surrounding public sector employee unions and their collective bargaining process have undergone changes in recent years. In 2017, the legislature in the State of Iowa made changes to Chapter 20 of the Iowa Code. These changes altered 12 mandatory topics of discussion in negotiations and put them in an optional category. The research question was to determine to what degree this law change impacted public employee contracts for National Education Association affiliated unions. In this paper, 100 contracts from public school districts in the State of Iowa were reviewed utilizing the Iowa Public Employee Relations Board collection of these documents from both before and after the date the law took effect. More than two years after the law took effect, nearly all school districts have undergone a negotiation under new regulations. The impact of this legislation can be seen through a drastic cut of the permissive language from public sector contracts.
1:20 PM: Clayton Keller Local Governments and the Millennial Pivot: How Municipalities Need to Recruit the New Generation of City Managers
There is an emerging dilemma of baby boomers retiring from the city management profession. To meet the demands of the growing profession amidst these retirements, millennials must be recruited to fill open positions. There’s just one problem: millennials are all about the money and flexibility that are only offered in the private sector. Or are they? This paper analyzes a series of interviews and current research to inform the city management profession how it can pivot its recruitment strategy to lure millennials into this rewarding line of work.
1:40 PM: Stacia Hoover What can the City by the Bay teach the Big ‘O’?: A Case Study in waste diversion practices
This capstone project focuses on waste diversion and the feasibility of a zero waste city model in Omaha. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2015 the national recycling and composting rate was 34.7%. Comparatively, in 2015 Omaha’s recycling and composting rate was 15% (Wasteline.org, 2019). The national average has increased each year, while since 2005 Omaha’s rate has remained stagnant. The methodology used in this analysis is a case study and will seek to answer the question, “How can Omaha increase its waste diversion rate in order to move toward a zero waste city model?” We draw on San Francisco as the main focus of this case study in order to illustrate a waste diversion program that has been successfully enacted. San Francisco began its quest for zero waste in 2002. By 2012 they had reached an 80 percent waste diversion rate (Anderson, April 15, 2019). Qualitative research methods utilized in this case study were document analysis of San Francisco’s three-pronged approach to waste diversion and informal interviews with organizations in Omaha that have current waste diversion programs. The use of both methods highlighted policy and practices that are transferable to Omaha.
2:00 PM: Logan Seacrest The New Space Race: NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation and Commercial Resupply Service Programs
On December 15, 2015, an orbital rocket booster launched into space and returned safely back to earth for the first time. This technological breakthrough was made possible thanks to U.S. taxpayers. It is the result of a decision by the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) to embrace a new paradigm of public-private partnerships. This capstone project focuses on these partnerships, known as the Commercial Orbital Transportation Service (COTS) and Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) programs. Combining both quantitative and qualitative methodological elements, this paper explores how these partnerships work, identifies what makes them different from past aerospace contracts and provides recommendations for future U.S. spaceflight programs. The evaluation question is simple: how much have the rockets developed by NASA’s private partners changed the cost of spaceflight and what does this mean for the future of U.S. space policy? Based on the literature review, the hypothesis is that fixed price public-private partnerships have decreased both launch and operational costs compared to traditional NASA contracts, provided significant advances in rocket affordability, and laid the foundation for a new space race.
Panel 5 | On- Campus Students Room: CPACS 132D Alumni Panelist: Marshall Crawford, Angelina Ramos, Alicia Reil 1:00 PM: William De Roos Ethics of Municipal Administration: Organizational Ethics According to Nebraska’s Chief Administrators
What differences in local governments affect ethical behavior? By what means is a standard of ethical behavior enforced? To answer these questions, a review of ethical behavior in public organizations is conducted, as well as interviews of municipal chief administrators across Nebraska. The research focuses on quantifying the differences in individual (micro) and organizational (meso) level ethics of municipalities. Findings indicate that ethics in these organizations are greatly affected by several traits found in chief administrators.
1:20 PM: A.J. Walts Tyranny’s Kernel: How Four Trends Plus Subsystem Politics Threaten American Democracy
This paper examines four trends in modern American political life and governance. It describes how these four trends form a “toxic helix” that threatens the foundations of American democracy. The thesis suggests that “subsystem politics”--in particular the phenomenon known as “agency capture”--presents a unique vulnerability in the governance system and is the mechanism by which the toxic helix can unravel institutional checks and balances on the concentration of power. In such an environment, public administrators and others embedded in civil service play a unique, controversial, and increasingly critical role in protecting the foundations of American democracy from its own worst tendencies. The author aims to introduce this topic into the public consciousness and envisions the essay as the beginning--not the end--of a public policy dialogue. The paper follows a non-traditional approach to the Capstone project by using the Narrative Policy Framework as the general research design, and the entire paper can be considered an analytical framework and hypothesis intended for continued testing and research.
1:40 PM: Lindsey Parde Governance Committee Analysis for The Midwest Sociological Society
In recent years there has been more attention brought to the term governance and what kind of role it should be playing in nonprofits. The basic function of a governance committee is to ensure that a nonprofit has qualified board members to oversee an organization’s current and future needs. Organizations have combined functions of a nominations and elections committee with that of a governance committee. This project analyzes if the Midwest Sociological Society should add a governance committee to their committee structure. This project includes a literature review discussion of the role board of director’s play in an organization, committee structure and the role governance plays in an organization. The methodology for this project uses qualitative methods, centered on in-depth interviews with members of the Midwest Sociology Society board of directors. Findings indicated that there are key areas of improvement which include board diversity, recruitment, board training and board orientation. Based on findings, recommendations were given.
2:00PM: Erin Burke The Value of Certification: Analysis of B Corp Organizations in Nebraska
Like nonprofit organizations, many for-profit companies are being intentional about their actions and creating initiatives to make a lasting difference in the world. B Corporations fall into this category, meeting specific criteria set by a third-party organization. With the B Corporation standards for social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose does certification provide benefit over businesses who meet similar standards but do not seek the same certification? This project uses interviews to analyze Nebraska B Corporations and determine if the certification adds value to the business, and examines what that means for the intersection of public and nonprofit industries.
2:20 PM: Viridiana Almanza Does Representation in Nonprofits Matter? A Case Study of Nonprofit Executive Directors
This paper aims to examine racial/ethnic composition of nonprofit executive directors in Omaha and whether this type of â€œrepresentationâ€? should be further explored by scholars and practitioners. Furthermore, this mixed-methods study was done through a review of representative bureaucracy theory literature, relevant national and regional studies on the subject, and the application of representative bureaucracy using the Latino Center of the Midlands social service nonprofit organization as the case study unit of analysis.The findings suggest that nonprofit executive directors that are PoC are underrepresented and do not reflect Omahaâ€™s racial/ethnic composition. Furthermore, the literature supports that more work needs to be done to further explore how race and ethnicity, themes within representation theories, influence executive director-client relations.
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